Paul Scholes is one of the greatest footballers ever, winner of the Ballon d’Or 12 times, World Cup winner with England, Manchester United’s best ever player and is one of the most well-rounded footballers to ever put on a pair of boots.
None of the above is remotely correct but you wouldn’t know it with the reputation the ginger wizard has acquired since retirement.
Scholes was a class player, of that nobody can argue but his reputation has been blown out of all proportion, largely helped by quotes from footballing legends Xavi and Zinedine Zidane, who were fans of Scholes.
Scholes has somehow been put on a pedestal way above other top midfielders of his era, namely Frank Lampard and Steven Gerard but is it deserved?
Let’s look at some cold hard facts about Scholsey.
Paul Scholes is not in the top 20 assist makers in Premier League history
Scholes may have been a top-notch passer of the ball but here he is lagging behind such legends as Nolberto Solano, Peter Crouch, Darren Anderton and James Milner.
You could even argue Scholes had better players ahead of him to finish the chances he created yet his record of 55 assists in 499 Premier League games is average for a midfielder in a top team.
Paul Scholes never won Manchester United Player of the season
In 14 seasons, the Man Utd fans who now hail him as a god didn’t once vote him as their player of the season. They voted for Gabriel Heinz one year instead.
Paul Scholes never had a podium Ballon d’Or finish
You are not going to be winning any Ballon d’Ors when you can’t wrestle Manchester United’s player of the year trophy from Nemanja Vidic. Despite many great players declaring their admiration for Scholes, none of them voted for him, certainly not in the numbers required.
Paul Scholes was never even included in the Fifpro team of the season.
Paul Scholes wasn’t good at everything
Scholes was an exceptional long-range passer but his overall play was limited. His defensive work was non-existent at times and when he did try, it often ended in a crunching foul and a booking. We have already seen his assist record wasn’t the best, he also had a habit of giving the ball away, more than a player of his passing talent ever should have. Admittedly Scholes passes were largely sublime.
Paul Scholes retired early from international football
Scholes never felt appreciated at international level. He often had to play out wide due to the dominance of Lampard and Gerrard. Scholsey retired early with his bottom lip firmly out.
Fergie replaced him, more than once
Scholes played over 500 games for Manchester United but was benched in favour of Park Ji Sung and Sebastian Veron in his time. Scholes was well thought of by Ferguson but not as much as Darren Fletcher.
Despite all of the above Paul Scholes is now regarded by many as the best midfielder of his generation. Rightly or wrongly he has seen his stock rise above Lampard and Gerrard though statistically, he is not in the same class. Scholes wasn’t even the best midfielder at his club for much of his career.
Sorry United fans, he was good, just not THAT good.